Cheesemaking @ Asheville, North Carolina

Looking Glass Creamery Asheville North Carolina Cheese Cristina Nogueras

About a year ago I listened to a Savor podcast episode about cheese in Asheville, NC and I just knew I had to make my way there to experience Looking Glass Creamery for myself! I know everyone raves about the breweries in Asheville (don’t get me wrong, they are great) but being the cheese lover that I am, I was most excited for the cheese. I didn’t know there was such a vibrant cheese community in Western North Carolina. I absolutely love and appreciate European cheeses but given the logistics and financial implications to get there from Atlanta, having local cheese adventures just a drive away is pretty sweet. From what I gathered, they respect the classic rules of cheesemaking but are not afraid to showcase creativity and make each cheese unique to their style.

Looking Glass Creamery Asheville North Carolina Cheese Cristina NoguerasLooking Glass Creamery Asheville North Carolina Cheese Cristina NoguerasLooking Glass Creamery Asheville North Carolina Cheese Cristina Nogueras

LGC has grown and now has two locations: a farm and store in Columbus and The Cheese Shop in Fairview (right outside of Asheville, where we went). This cute little farm house you see was their original creamery and now the second floor, or attic, is a cozy seating space where you can find super interesting cheese books to browse while you wait for your magnificent board! They also serve wine but mind you, we were there at 11:00 am when they opened and weren’t ready for that just yet. (Yes, we had a cheeseboard for breakfast, thank you very much.)

The cheese was absolutely delicious (not surprising!) and each variety had something special to offer. The sides were also fresh and flavorful, including some pickled beet which sounded weird but paired really well with the more sharp cheeses, in my opinion. I came home with some of their fromage blanc and sour cherry jam with plans of spreading those babies out on some crackers very soon!

Can we take a moment to talk about jams? Maybe my Puerto Rican upbringing did not expose me to jams as much, or maybe it did and I was just a picky eater then, but my goodness, they are wonderful! I have always been a butter-on-my-bread kind of person and never really gave jams a chance but lately, however, I have been trying them more and wow. During our time in Asheville alone I tried like 5 different, wonderful jams, all locally made. I know this may sound lame for some of you (Duh, Cristina, where have you been living?) but to me this is extremely exciting. So exciting, in fact, that I came home with two new jars of homemade jam. I now need to learn how to make biscuits or scones from scratch and we will be golden. Also, news flash for me: jams, jellies and marmalades are not all the same thing. About to fall on that Wikipedia rabbit hole real soon…

Anyways, cheese is great and local cheesemakers are cool.

Have you visited any cheesemakers in the US? Let me know where!

Looking Glass Creamery Asheville North Carolina Cheese Cristina Nogueras

First Time Apple Picking + Fall Sangria

Deamarest FarmsI grew up in a tropical island. The closest I had to apple picking was having a lime tree in my backyard or grabbing a fallen coconut from the beach. You got apples from the super market, that was it. The concept of making it a full day activity to go apple picking, riding on the back of a truck, wearing boots, eating apple cider doughnuts and drinking apple cider was totally foreign to me. To me, it was all fun because it was a new experience. To my friends, it’s a tradition and a moment to relive memories from growing up.

Demarest FarmsSummer is my favorite season but fall comes in second, bringing with it so much beauty… and apples!

I tried out this great sangria recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, it was delicious! I followed the recipe pretty closely, except I did not add the orange slices and I went easy on the club soda. It was a nice twist to my average sangria and it allowed me to use my freshly picked apples in a fun way. I also realized that nothing tastes bad with cinnamon.

This apple picking thing, it’s not bad at all. Next time though, I really need to get one of those famous apple cider doughnut.